Three Dunes Trail provides a scenic walk through the mountains to a remote portion of Cattail Cove State Park and a trio of sand dunes on Lake Havasu just seven miles south of the city. State park fees apply once you enter the state parks land.
Directions to Trailhead
Drive about 7 miles south of town on Hwy. 95 to a rest area on the west side of the road (lake-side of the highway) near milepost 170 (elev 975 ft). Park at the south end of the parking lot.
Trail Route Instructions
- From the south side of the rest area, follow a sporadic trail atop the bank, bearing left, until it meets the powerline road. Go left on the road which shortly drops down into a wash.
- Follow the wash downstream. It soon narrows as it enters a canyon heading for the lake.
- The canyon opens up into a wider wash, which joins other washes, and just before you reach the blocking greenery, a short trail goes up the right bank at its lowest point.
- Turn left at the top of the bank. In about 30 feet, a trail to the right goes down and over to the north dune. Continue straight ahead for the south dune. It is 3.2 miles from the rest area to the top of the north dune (elev 520 ft).
- Be sure to walk back over to the right side of the wash when you leave the dunes or you might end up in a different wash and back on the highway somewhat north of your vehicle. This situation also occurs when you exit the canyon on the way back. Keep left in the wash so you can find the powerline road you came down on. If you miss it, you will end up back on the highway somewhat south of your vehicle.
- Note: Another route to the dunes is the slightly less scenic wash on the north side of the rest area. Walk downstream in the wash, across the powerline road and down through a canyon. When it widens, bear left to the join the main wash. On your way back, be sure not to take the wash on the far left. Its the next one on the left that you came down on.
- State park fees apply once you enter the state parks land.
Arizona Hiking Safety
The rugged beauty of the Lake Havasu City area, just down the Colorado River from the Grand Canyon, makes a lasting impression. But the desert can be hazardous. Many trails are unmarked and infrequently traveled. Please consider these suggestions to make the most of your adventure:
- Avoid hiking during the summer, approximately June 15 to September 15, when daytime temperatures can reach 120° or more.
- Do not hike in washes when heavy rainfall is anticipated to avoid the threat of flash floods.
- Always take plenty of water; plan to carry at least one quart of water for every four hours you hike in direct sunlight.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses with UV-protection, and sunscreen.
- Print off a copy of the trail map from this webpage and carry it with you if the route is unfamiliar.
- Wear sturdy, thick-soled shoes and use a hiking stick if you easily lose your balance.
- Never hike alone and always let a responsible person know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
- Plan to leave on your hike early in the day to avoid the risk of being lost on the trail after dark.
- Travel light; the less you carry the more you will enjoy the hike.
- Leave nothing behind. We want our trails to remain beautiful for your return!
* Aesthetic rating: The more diamonds, the more desirable the trail the in terms of remoteness, natural features and scenic beauty